Shaw Middle School Principal Brian Betts Found Dead in Silver Spring Home, SUV Missing

Brian Betts
District of Columbia Public Schools
Brian Betts (District of Columbia Public Schools)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (CBS/AP) Brian Betts, the principal of Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson in Washington, D.C. was found dead in his home Thursday evening.

A co-worker of the 42-year-old found him in his Columbia Boulevard home in Silver Springs, Md. after Betts failed to report to work.

His body was taken to the medical examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy. Police have not said how they believe he died.

Montgomery County police say the man's dark blue 2007 Nissan Xterra is missing. The Maryland registration is 562M222.

Betts was considered an inspirational leader, according to the Washington Post, which said he was sensitive to being a white principal in a predominantly black and Hispanic school. The paper said he, "raised expectations for students, recruited strong teachers and fired those who were not performing well." Test scores began to slowly rise, said the Post, and students were so enthused with the school many requested they be allowed to complete ninth grade there rather than go to a less highly-regarded high school.

"Nothing that I have ever seen trumps personal relationships," he told the Post in 2008. "The kids in this building who can be absolutely horrible in one person's class can be angelic in another because they have formed a relationship with that teacher."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call police at 240-773-5070.